China’s Defiant Local Newspapers

China’s media censorship has repeatedly made headlines over the last year for restricting information about the COVID-19 outbreak. While many might dismiss China’s news media as servants of power, such pessimism belies the fact that China’s local newspapers have been pushing the boundary of censorship and challenging the official narrative. These local newspapers’ works are … more

Neican: Party history, Hua Guofeng, Rural issues, Martyrs

1. Studying Party history Last week we wrote about the upcoming 100th anniversary of the CCP in July, and the importance of current and historical narratives for the Party’s rule. As we mentioned, this includes what the Party calls the “four histories” (histories of the CCP, “New China”, reform and opening up, and development of … more

China, Tibet and the Politics of Time

The politics of time are an important dimension of Chinese state discourse about Tibet, yet one that has received relatively little attention to date. This piece examines the written and visual discourses about Tibet’s past, present and future across Chinese state media in the post-2008 era. The focus is on how these media discourses attempt … more

China Neican: 28 December 2020

This week: Alibaba’s alleged monopoly conduct, public opinion, women in leadership, sent-down youth 1. Alibaba China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) 国家市场监管总局 announced that it was investigating possible monopolistic practices by Alibaba. These alleged practices include Alibaba’s tactic of pressuring merchants to sell exclusively on its platform. The current investigation is the first of … more

There’s more to Chinese history than the CCP

Checking my phone for COVID updates on Sunday, I was delightfully distracted by Stan Grant’s recommendation that Australians read the 15-volume Cambridge History of China over the summer holidays. As an historian of late imperial and modern China, I couldn’t agree more that there is much to learn about China, and that the legacy of … more

China Neican: 21 December 2020

This week’s topics: Nanjing Massacre, democratic solidarity, Zoom/censorship, CCP members 1. Nanjing Massacre China marked its National Day of Commemoration for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre 南京大屠杀死难者国家公祭日 with a solemn public ceremony in Nanjing on December 13. Eighty-three years have passed, but the collective memory of the event still exerts an emotional pull on … more

China warily watches Indian nationalism

India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said last week that the deadly clashes on the disputed Sino-Indian border this year had “completely changed national sentiment” in his country towards China. There is evidence that Beijing recognises the dangerous double-edged sword of nationalist public opinion in India. So far, this recognition of Indian public opinion’s role in … more